Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Lovestruck Novice Welcomes JULIA LONDON!!

Well, deck my halls and hand me a Hot Toddy!

'Tis the season for pleasin' and do I have a stocking stuffer for you! Get your Pa-Rum-Pum-Pum's ready and help me welcome . . . THE Julia London to the Lovestruck Novice!

Swipe a handful of the powdery confections you've been eye-balling on that goody platter and wash 'em down with some Egg Nog, because we're gettin' ready to rock around that Christmas Tree!

On chocolate fudge! On butter-rum balls! On frosted sugar cookies and pinch of peanut brittle! Get your taste buds ready for some Regency Romance Delight!

1) If you were a book, what would your blurb be?

That’s really tough! I’m not very exciting in real life. I live in Austin with my husband, and we do all the usual things that everyone does.

Novelist lives exciting life full of exotic travel, exotic men, and exotic food until she meets a dark and dangerous man, who captivates her imagination and her heart. In a sexy twist of fate, novelist marries him and settles in the suburbs. But life is not as simple as it seems…there are shadows in the suburbs, that creep into the corners of her mind.

Novelist escapes the shadows by hiding in the books she writes, directing the characters, penning their dialogue, and painting the scenery behind their acts. But when the shadows cast a dark cloud is cast over her sunny set, the novelist must face her true fears and emerge to fight a laundry pile gone bad.

2) Using only 3 words describe your voice.

Ah, tough one. Humorous, emotional, approachable.

3) What has been the biggest obstacle you've had to overcome in regards to your writing?

At last, an easy one! I have to overcome this obstacle with every book I write: the belief that I can do it. The first book I wrote was a journey of self-discovery. I didn’t know if I could write a whole book. When I did it, I was elated. But since that first book, I reach a point in every book where I think the work is really awful, that it cannot be salvaged, and that I am doomed as a writer. That fear gets worse with every book. And now I’ve written enough books now that I know it’s coming and I am helpless to stop it. I fret, I worry, I agonize. I make copious notes about all that is wrong with the manuscript. I question the premise of the book, the characters and the plot. I want to stop and start again, but there is no time.

But then, by some miracle, by the time I reach the end, I know I can fix it. I don’t know how, exactly, but my belief in me is restored, and somehow, I manage to fix the book to my satisfaction. So my obstacle is getting past the middle of every book and the consuming self-doubt.

4) What was the best advice you ever received?

Writing advice? To take what you’ve written and turn it on its head. Personal advice: To live outside the box.

5) Your characters are always so vibrant. They just shoot off the page! Do you have any tips you'd like to pass along for writing award winning characters?

Thank you! Honestly, I don’t really know how I do that. I try and breathe life into the characters for my own sake. I want to know what they look like, what peculiar mannerisms they have, what they think about things like politics and money and family and love. It’s a bit organic. Their personalities began to reveal themselves as I write the book. And I always do a pass through before I finish a book to make sure the characters stand out and that they are identifiable.

Still hungry for more? How about a calorie-free tasty teaser of a fantastic read for a wintry night! I hope you enjoy my review of A COURTESAN's SCANDAL . . .

Grayson Christopher, the delicious Duke of Darlington, has been given an order he can't refuse. The mercurial Prince of Wales wants Grayson to take a mistress . . .his mistress. Embroiled in a tumultuous divorce, the Prince doesn't want his latest lady-love to be fodder for the rumor-mills. His solution? To fool the London society into assuming the stunning courtesan belongs to Grayson.

Not willing to risk the fiery wrath of the Prince, Grayson has no other choice but to accept. He has no desire to involve himself in the dastardly web of deceit and fully intends let his feelings known. There's only one problem, the lover-for-hire wants absolutely nothing to do with him, one the most sought after men in amongst the Ton.

Kate Bergeron is a woman wrapped in a cloak of intrigue and scandal. She's caught the eye of the Prince and has no other choice but to graciously accept the magnate's offer of protection. Kate does what she must to survive and if playing the part of the adoring mistress to the judgemental Duke of Darlington will further her goals- so be it. What she didn't count on was her attraction to Grayson, a man she can never have . . .

A Courtesan's Scandal is the latest jewel in Julia London's crown. A highly charged and alluring tale of two people locked within the marionette strings of the Prince of Wales and society. Chalkful of tension and excitement, Grayson and Kate's love story blurs the stalwart lines of propriety and demonstrates once again that true love really does conquer all.

I enjoyed reading A Courtesan's Scandal because I fell in love with Kate. Vivacious and yet pragmatic, Kate Bergeron wasn't some victim of circumstance. While most women would have crumbled under the scrutiny of the Ton, Kate stuck to her resolve and pushed through. I appreciate a character who has the chops to overcome any situation- no matter how unfavorable. The scandalous Miss Bergeron isn't a part-and-parcel heroine. Her true grit is something to behold.

What makes Grayson and Kate's story stand out in my mind is the way Ms. London highlighted the most basic element of human nature: perception. Experiencing the unlikely lovers angst grow from resentment to a passionate partnership was definitely refreshing. Too often, heroes and heroines are molded into an archetype. Kate and Grayson's goals and motivations separate them from the everyday romance story characters. They are flawed, but still manage to shine.

A Courtesan's Scandal is a must read and has definitely earned its spot on my bookshelf.

My thanks to Julia for letting me interview her and for her devotion to keeping romance alive. If you'd like to know about Julia London and her menagerie of love-stories,
click on over to her gorgeous website.

THANK YOU, TLN'ers for keeping the Lovestruck Novice going strong! The New Year is upon us and there's an all-star list of authors waiting to pay-it-forward. Don't worry about missing out over the holidays, TLN aims to please. So, we'll meet you back next week for another dose of helpful tips. Just to make sure you're getting with the spirit of the season, here's another of my favorites-
Martina McBride singing O HOLY NIGHT a Capella. Simply beautiful is all I can say. Simply beautiful.


Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Julia,
Great and perceptive interview. I like the sounds of your story, too.
Happy Christmas.

Eliza Knight said...

Great interview! Sounds like a fantastic read :)

Happy Holidays!

Emma Lai said...

I'm a big fan, Julia! I'd say the three words you chose pretty accurately reflect your work. I have the same fear as you do with every story I write. I think it's bad and why do I even bother, but in the end it gets written and I find a way to make it work.

Great interview!

lainey bancroft said...

Fun interview. Nicely done, ladies!

I'm adding A Courtesan's Scandal to my TBR pile. =)

The romantic query letter and the happy-ever-after said...

I read the six from the Rogues of Regent Street Series and will absolutely take a look at this one.
I'm only sorry I'm just now coming to the interview.
Warm regards,

Sarah Simas said...

Hi Everyone!!

Thanks for swinging by!! ACS was truly a great read. LOL One the many things I like about Kate is she bakes confections. OMG! I'd read a paragraph talking about a chocolate pastry and be instantly ravenous!